Galway u21s are massive outsiders against Banner men on Saturday
By Ray Silke
This Saturday evening in Semple Stadium (6pm) the Galway U21 hurlers will take on a high flying Clare outfit in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Galway are under the guidance of Johnny Kelly, Tony Keady and Dinny Cahill this year and their side will have it all to do against the Munster champions, who include the likes of their senior stars Tony Kelly, Podge Collins, David McInerney and midfielder Colm Galvin.
Galway are 4/1 outsiders to win the game, with Clare at 1/5.
Galway are also +5 in the handicap at evens, which shows what the bookmakers think of their chances.
Clare are on the back of a few tough games in Munster, whereas Galway are untested. And the four young Clare men mentioned above had very fine games last weekend in the county’s senior victory over Limerick and will be keen to push themselves into the U21 All-Ireland final too.
In all, 14 of the Clare U21 panel have trained with the county senior squad this season.
Clare senior team manager Davy Fitzgerald, has no problem with their dual role and rather than trying to mind them ahead of their senior All-Ireland final clash with Cork, he has released them to their U21 duties exclusively for this week.
“I want them to go out and I want them to do their very best,” he said after last Sunday’s win in Croke Park. “The U21s deserve a fair crack of the whip and that was our approach after the quarter-final. They’ll work with the U21s all week. They will not come near us, that’s the way it’s going to be.
“They deserve to play in their own age group. That’s my belief. I’ll be asking them to focus completely on that because I think they have to focus on that.”
The Galway team to face Clare on Saturday was due to be released last night at 9pm (Wednesday) but is expected to include senior players such as Conor Cooney and Jonathan Glynn. Other players that Galway will need big performances from on Saturday will be the likes of Padraig Brehony and Darragh Burke.
In the other semi-final at Semple Stadium (4.30pm), Antrim will take on Wexford.
Both games are live on TG4.